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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 24, 2011 7:00am-8:00am EST

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of. we can have our disagreements with china about human rights, and about the freedom of the press, but we must also think of agreements with china about future. but my argument in the book is that if china, india, asia, america and europe, in particular, africa and latin america as well, coordinated our policy, if china was able to raise its consumption of goods and services, so you would be able to take more people out of poverty more quickly, be able to grow your middle class in a fast way than previously planned, and if at the same time indonesia and japan and pollination countries were like to do likewise, then you would have such a boost to demand the world economy that the american and the european colonies would be able to move as well.
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they would be able to export goods to the rest of the world. and i just say the biggest single change you will see in the next 10 years, and we have seen massive change to the productivity of the chinese worker and through the asian growth we have seen in the last 10 years, but the biggest change will see in the next 10 years is this billion or middle-class consumers wanting to buy goods, including the branded goods, that technology driven good that we produce here in america and in europe. and that will be the biggest boost for the world economy that could happen, and that will create thousands of jobs here in america because we are in a position to export as his britain and europe to the rest of the world. so china is absolutely vital to the future of the world economy, not just because what it can do for itself, not because in combination and in concert the rest of the world can do to burst world growth and will jobs.
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we need more dialogue. we need more discussion. i believe the best thing that can happen to push growth for it in the next few years is china agree to consume more, america invest more in its education and its technology for the future, europe tackles its unemployment, and, of course, of africa growing again. i don't think we are so far away of getting that idea onto the agenda so that at the next g20 that is part of the major discussion. so you can see how important i think china's role in the future is, is going to be. >> good afternoon, mr. prime minister. i'm a senior, undergraduate business school at nyu, and i have the traffic privilege to study for my freshman year in london at bedford square. i hope you build a drop by at some point if you haven't already. it's number six. britain to give us advice. would you come back to help us?
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>> i would love to. i saw you last night on the daily show and i couldn't agree more. i'm studying ethics. now for part of my senior research, and i would like to know from you what ethical principle drive you and do you have any advice would 21 year-old such as myself, who hopes to be able to continue to hold it and live by it as i enter the workforce? >> that's a brilliant question, and i do wish you well. i'm joking when i say we need a comments. so think about coming to work in our country as well. it's a central question of political economy. what is the morality that it's got to underpin a successful marketplace. and you know the study of economics is changing quite fast now. because in the '80s we're talking about the efficient markets model. now people are talking of behavioral economics. to try to explain why people
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don't always act rationally, and why fairness, why, if you like, fear, and one irrational exuberance a sometimes dominates the behavior that you see in the marketplace. and i think we're going back to the study of political economy. and i think that will be something that any economics student will want to play their part in, and examining in future years. and as i understand political economy, it started with adam smith who happened to be a citizen of the town in which i grew up. and i am now a member of parliament for serving in the house of commons. adam smith lived in this town and was born there and grew up there, and it has a two-mile road that -- can you hear me? this two miles, he would look out every morning and he would see ships coming in and out of
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the body that were trading with the rest of europe. this was the middle of the 18th century. and because he saw this trading taking place, he then thought, well, trade is the engine of growth. and then he realized that too tragic to specialize. and to specialize you had to have a proper division of labor between those who did certain talents and those who had others. it's all three of how the economy works. it was built from this idea that looking out on the sea, he could see that trade was transforming the whole economic landscape at the town in which he was born. but adam smith thought that the theory of moral sentiments which was the book he also wrote was far more important than the vast group of trade, "the wealth of nations." and he always said this was the most important thing he was trying to contribute to, the study of that society. and underpinning the economy and underpinning markets, there had
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and if you values that people held to be important. and, of course, you value enterprise and you value competition, and you value the entrepreneurship that is absolutely vital to the economy. but adam smith also said you've got to value fairness and responsibility, and the values that we think important in our everyday life, you don't admire people who don't show integrity, or you can't trust, and are not responsible and don't do their duty, and live off the backs of other people rather than help contribute to the common good. and in the same way he said that the economy, and we would not say that multinational companies and financial companies, if they don't exhibit these values, then the danger that we will have as we had two or three years ago, markets that don't self regulate, but markets that self-destruct. so i would say that the values that he wrote about in the
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18th century are still the values that have got to guide our economy. and i think the 20th century, the battle between markets and states, what powers should markets have, what power should governments have? one side saying that markets will any other site saying that states ought to be important. the 21st century i think people will say that markets and states and both become vested interest, they can both take power at the expense of the ordinary citizen and the public interest, and to control temper and to supervise the operation of governments and markets, they've got to be visibly underpinned by clear ethical values. and you've got to test the markets are working, how governments are working, according to these values. are they responsible? is their integrity? can they be trusted? are they cooperating in a fair manner? i think these are the values, for company and in countries
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that we are operating as well as the values that you admire and families and neighborhoods where you live. and that's the key for political economy becoming more important to the study of economics, the future. and that's what i would urge everybody was thinking of economics and business, to read some of the great works of political economy would show eight economy can prosper only when there is trust, integrity and responsibility, when people accept in response to then being allowed to do everything they want to do, with their enterprise and in their environment they have got to exercise responsibility and not be reckless in risk-taking of the expense of others. cities are values values that i think age old, the values that come out of our experience of learned lessons from the crisis. >> thank you. you have my vote. >> i wish we could stay for another whole hour but we have
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time for maybe two more questions. >> thank you. hello, prime minister. i am also from china. i have question regarding china. what specific advice you have for china to boost its consumption which he said is very important, significant, job for china to do and adjust itself in megatrend? >> some of you may know that the amount of national income consume in america, so consumption as a share of national interest in america something like 50%, the amount of consumption in china is about 35%. so china is producing a great deal, but only a third of what it is producing is being consumed by its own citizens. that's where china can do more to help itself, to help the world economy. you know, in a 19th century britain and america, which are among the first countries to
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industrialize, germany and france, not one of these countries committed themselves during -- they may have thought they might be able to do something about it with welfare programs but they were never explicitly committed to the abolition or to the mass rejection of poverty. china is coming in the is, african countries are, and as to the great credit of these countries, but that's the commitment. they will create a safety net so that people have health provisions. they've got to create a safety net so that people are unemployed. they have some form of income. they've got to get a safety net for people who are retired and elderly have some sort of provision for their retirement. and if these things can happen, and its same time people are in a position to use some of the savings, and in a position to buy goods that they want to buy including consumer goods that we take for granted in this country, and china's path to be a middle-class country with
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large numbers of people owning their own homes and at the same time in a position to buy consumer goods would not help just chinese people, but help the rest of the world because instead of america consuming more and your consuming more, then china would also be consuming a great deal, and the demand and supply of the world would be imbalance which is not in at the moment. so i think the chinese government understand this and want to do more, want to do more to help people are going into the towns to get jobs, want to take more people out of poverty. but if we were to advance it more quickly in the next year or two, if we had an international agreement which china the comfortable about because that was part of the agreement that different countries would to do certain things, this would take the heat out of the currency boards, take the heat out of the balance of payments which is the latest issue we discussed that she 20. china doing what it wants to do but doing it quickly and it
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would be boosting consumer demand as exports and boosting production right around the world. so china can play a major part in rebalancing the world economy, but also in getting growth in america and europe. and i think the path of events over the next 10 years are clear that china is going to do more. it will move at a bit faster and a lot of the unemployment that we're likely to see in the next two years to be avoided. >> unfortunately we have time for just one more brief question. i'm sorry, everyone. >> it's my answers that are too long. >> hi. i'm a reporter with force and i wonder if you comment on little on the fallout of the crisis that is developing in europe. i'm wondering if you think the mechanisms that are currently in place both the current fund and the plan for new mechanism after 2013 are going to be sufficient to contain the crisis as it is developing in portugal, spain, other countries? if not, are the other
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recommendations? >> for those people not involved in european issues, let me just say that the euro is the single currency. its introduction was very, very controversial. britain was one of the countries that i was partly responsible who decided not to join the euro. we thought it was difficult to manage. and at the same time the huge amount of your skepticism, in other words, people skeptical about whether the euro could work in the long run. in fact, a lot of your skepticism in britain as well. there was one skeptic being interviewed on bbc which many of you will know about the news program, and he was being asked why he was so skeptical, so hostile, so anti-the euro. why he was against anything that was european. and the interview out of frustration because he was getting a right interested, why are you so against it, isn't ignorance or apathy? and the man replied i don't know and i don't care.
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[laughter] >> the euro at the moment is undergoing difficult times because greece has got a financial problem. it finds it difficult to get revenues in. and it's had a big public sector. spain has a different problem. spain has got banks that really were over lending, particularly in the property sector, something happened in america particularly also, in ireland as well which is a big problem. it's a huge bank debt as a result of been lending money to property developers who can never pay that money back. and judah portugal which has a lot of private debt that is owed the people outside the country of portugal itself. people been asking if you all these problems in your, you've got all these helpers in the two
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countries, can the euro itself survived? i think it's got to survived even though i did not want britain to join the euro. i think once you make a big decision like reading a single currency you got to make it work. the three things to make it work, he got to bring together the three difficult issues, fiscal deficits, bank liabilities, and the inability to grow. and if you're can always solve the fiscal deficits but not grow, if they cannot solve its bank liabilities, because then you have big, big problems ahead, because banks will not give any money to businesses, so you've got to have a meeting of e.u. leaders to get together. they've got to look at the huge problems. they've got to find a way forward and one fell swoop for dealing with these problems. i have ideas, and it's important they do this in private. then they get than they do to seize the initiative from the markets because countries are being picked off one by one. you hear about greece a few months ago, ireland a few weeks
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ago, and portugal today, and spain next. you got to see -- seize the initiative from the market. one lesson we learned, was if governments don't act together and lead rather than are led by the market, then you will get into huge, huge problems. and a downward cycle, downward spiral that you can't get out of. so my recommendations to your group get together to do with these three problems which are all solute global. they've got to be dealt with together, otherwise you have continued crises in the euro area. so my recipe for the future is greater cooperation with the euro area to do with the real problems that arise with bankruptcy as well as some problems associated with the return of economic growth. but we've got a void in america as well. 10% unemployment, 10%, 920% unemployment in america.
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this calls for urgent international action for all of us to work together because we're all faced with similar problems with the resources of our economy, the people themselves are being denied a chance to realize the potential of the workplace. and was the purpose of economic policy if it does not include getting people into work so they can be prosperous either on efforts and not left to rely on either social security or charity? surely the important element of the next stage is getting more people back to work and getting young people and since they'll have opportunity in the future. >> first in a few minutes the prime minister will be signing books in the greenberg lounge across the hall. could all of you remain in your places and tell he has left. secondly, i want to thank all of you for coming. this has been a fascinating discussion. the beginning of something very important that will lead here at nyu and around the world at nyu. and, finally, on your behalf,
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and he quoted this person order, let me thank someone who more than almost anyone, maybe more than anyone i've ever met, exemplifies president kennedy's inside, the leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. the world has benefited from gordon brown's leadership. the world has a lot more to learn from him. and so do we here at new york university. thank you very much. [applause] >> this event was hosted by new york university. to find out more visit nyu dot edu. >> booktv as on twitter. follow was for a regular updates on our programs and news on nonfiction books and authors. >> c-span to local content vehicles are traveling the country visiting cities and towns as we explore our nation's
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history and some of the authors who touched upon it through their work. this weekend on booktv we take you to downtown indianapolis for a look at the new kurt vonnegut memorial library. >> kurt vonnegut was perhaps the greatest american writer. he was a world war ii veteran. he was a hoosier. he was a satirist. he was a political activist. he was a husband. he was a father. he was a friend. he was a friend to his fans. he would write back to his fans. he wrote more than 30 pieces of work, including plays, novels, short stories. some of his more familiar books are "slaughterhouse-five" which is perhaps his most famous. the breakfast of champions, cat's cradle in many other books. he always brought in his midwestern roots, and he often
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wrote about indiana and indianapolis specifically. and if i may read a quote, many people ask me why should this trend to elaborate here in indianapolis, and that many different answers, but then i found this great quote that says on my jokes are indianapolis. all my attitudes are indianapolis. my adenoids are indianapolis. if i ever separate myself from indianapolis, i would be out of business. what people like about me is indianapolis. so we took that as a green light to go ahead and establish the vonnegut library here in indianapolis. we have an art gallery, a museum room, a reading room, a gift shop, and i would like to share details about these rooms with you today. this is a kurt vonnegut timeline. if you would allow me i would like to read the quote at the
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top of this beautiful painting which was created by the artist chris king, and by a vonnegut scholar named rodney allen. and both of these individuals live in louisiana. and the quote reads, all moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. they can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the rocky mountains, for instance. they can see how permanent all the moments are is just an illusion we have here on earth that once a moment is gone, it's gone forever. and something that is unique about our timeline is we actually start on the right side and move to the left rather than the left side to the right. one thing wanted to mention about this quote, we hope that vonnegut would know that while he may think, may have thought
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that once a moment is gone it is gone forever, we like to think that the moment of kurt vonnegut will live on forever here at the vonnegut library. he went to cornell university. he was studying chemistry. he did not plan to go into architecture like his father. but he didn't think he would move into a science career, and discovered at cornell that he was not very much interested in doing that. so he enlisted in the army during world war ii. and i like to point out a mohair on the timeline. it's very important in the life of kurt vonnegut. and that is 1944. she is dying from an overdose probably intentional of alcohol and sleeping pills. vonnegut enters combat. is captured by germans and belgians during the battle of the bulge. in his writing in a boxcar with other american pows to dresden
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in supposedly safe german city, unlikely to be bogged. so dresden was this beautiful cultural city that was not a military target. as vonnegut rode in on a train he was able to do this beautiful city, and then he was placed in a slaughterhouse where the rest of the prisoners of war were held. this slaughterhouse was "slaughterhouse-five." over here we have an exhibit that we call the dresden exhibit, that it is really his world war ii experience that became so important in his writing and his worldview later in his life. i'll start with a photo that was taken right after he was released as a prisoner of war. along with fellow prisoners. we also have his purple heart that was donated by his son,
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mark vonnegut to us. he received a purple heart for cross bike, and mark was -- and kurt vonnegut was embarrassed to receive the purple heart from frostbite when many of his friends had suffered from physical problems and disease. we have a signed first edition of the book "slaughterhouse-five." this is important because "slaughterhouse-five" is probably the most well-known book written by kurt vonnegut, other 30 some pieces of writing that he completed, this is possibly the most famous. >> why? why was "slaughterhouse-five" famous? let me give you a bit of history about what happened to him in germany. and my impressions of why it affected people so much. vonnegut, as i read, he was taken to this slaughterhouse.
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while he was in dresden, the allies bombed dresden. so his own countrymen, as well as the allies bombed the city. it was a horrible bombing. it was literally a firestorm. and tens of thousands of people were killed, and these were noncombatants. these were women and children, you know, and old people. and vonnegut, one of his tasks as a prisoner, was to go out and remove the bodies, you know, from the burning buildings. and he also was required to bury the bodies of women and children. and that affected his life tremendously. he came back from his world war ii experience being completely against war. he was searching for peaceful resolution to conflict. and other approaches to solving
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problems. i will also point out the photo that was taken after he came back from the war. he got married to jane who was from indianapolis as well. this photo was taken on their honeymoon, and as you can see, he is in uniform. vonnegut and jane had three children, mark, eddy and nanette. many years later his sister alice died a day or two after her husband had died in a freak train accident. alice had four children, and three of them came to live with the vonnegut family. so they had quite a large household, seven children, and vonnegut at that time was writing books that at that time were less familiar, but yet published several books and
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articles for magazines, as well as working a job as a car salesman for saab. the expense about writing about dresden and what happened to him was tremendously difficult for vonnegut. it took in about 20 years to be able to publish the book, "slaughterhouse-five." jane, his wife, had encouraged him to write it. she worked as his editor on the book. she asked questions and got clarity on issues that helped him to retrieve a lot of those memories that he had repressed. because of the family situation with the addition of more children, and the success that was coming with the publishing of "slaughterhouse-five," his marriage with jane was rocky,
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just -- his daughter had mentioned about a month ago that that experience and the publishing of the book, and all that fame brought to vonnegut contributed to their marriage dissolving. and at that time, vonnegut had met the photographer jill, and eventually married to jill. and she was his second wife and was the only other person he was married to during his lifetime. this is what we call the political activity exhibit. and vonnegut continued to talk about his interest in finding peaceful solutions to conflicts.
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i think that's another thing that made him very popular during the vietnam years, and after. this photo which was given to us by the "new york times" was taken during the first gulf war, and there is a vonnegut out there at 20 university, you know, i'm sure it was a large crowd because even to his dying day, vonnegut was attract a large crowd. i have been told that he was like a rock star coming into his different speeches and large auditoriums, always telling the auditoriums. so here we are in the art gallery portion of our library. i'd like to take it over here and show you a vonnegut quote that was signed, that was given to us by his artistic collaborator. ..
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>> vonnegut, in his humor, he associated the asterisk with this anatomical feature, and we, we with -- we actually have used this asterisk in other pieces of our exhibit including our timeline which you may have thought had stars in the sky, but they're actually vonnegut's asterisks in the sky. e we also have life is no way to
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treat an animal. this is the tombstone for his famous character, kilgore trout, who appeared in many, many of his books. and it is understood that the trout is based on vonnegut himself. and interestingly, the character, kilgore trout, died at the age of 84, and vonnegut also happened to tie at the age of -- die at the age of 84. >> what did kurt vonnegut die from? >> he collapsed, he fell down the steps of his new york city home, and he went into a coma and never came out of that coma. he often joked that pall mall cigarettes would kill him, and he would sue the makers of pall mall because the warning label
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on the cigarette package said that pall malls would kill him, and they had not yet done so. but he actually happened to be smoking a pall mall while standing on the steps. so next we have here two pieces of artwork created by morley safer of "60 minutes" theme. he was a close friend of kurt vonnegut. they actually both shared a close friend who wrote the introduction for the last vonnegut book that came out, but these two pieces of art -- the first on the occasion of of kurt vonnegut's birthday, was created in 2003 as a gift to vonnegut. and be then the second -- and then the second was created when morley found out that vonnegut had died. and that was 2007. we are in the front of the kurt vonnegut library in the gallery
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room. we have kurt vonnegut's typewriter that was used in the 1970s. this was donated to us by his daughter, nanny. he wrote with, you know, many of his more familiar books during the 1970s, and we're happy to have this typewriter. he, he was not a fan of high technology, and he did not use a computer. he preferred to, to use a typewriter through his dying day. he liked to work in his home on an office chair and a coffee table. he would slumpover his typewriter. vonnegut would go out into the world every day. he talks about how he had learned that you could buy postage stamps over the internet, and he just thought that was horrible because then,
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you know, if he chose that route, he would not have the everyday experience of going to the post office. and those everyday experiences and the people he encountered during his daily walks were the basis for some of his stories. he met a number of very interesting characters in new york city, and going out and meeting people, you know, was a way for him to capture new material for his works. vonnegut is timeless because these issues, i mean, we still have the same issues. we're still suffering with war, disease, death, famine and environmental issues. you know, he said your planet's immune system is trying to get rid of you. he thought we should take care of the planet. these issues, you know, have resurfaced, and it does not look
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like we've found any viable solutions to these problems. so, you know, i think his work is timeless. >> c-span's local content vehicles are traveling the country visiting cities and towns as we look at our nation's history and some of the authors who have written about it. for more information go to >> up knicks, legal -- next, kim eisler profiles the five partners of the law firm, williams and connolly. the author reports on the inside the beltway connections of the firm. >> this is a book which is not just about washington, not just about a single washington law firm, but about sort of the culmination of everything that i had learned from writing about lawyers and law firms back, back
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in the day. and that when you're a newspaper reporter, you learn early on that underneath every decision and behind every, almost behind every election and every political thing that happens from the smallest town to the biggest city nobody does anything in this country anymore without consulting a lawyer. i'd started my journalistic career as a reporter in betweenville -- greenville, mississippi, and from be there i went on to the tampa tribune, and after living in florida for five years, i had decided that the only place that i could possibly live that would be better than florida -- because i kind of liked warm weather -- was california. i ended up getting a job at the los angeles daily journal which was owned by, i'm not even sure looking back on it if i really remembered at the time that it was a strictly legal paper. it sort of looked like "the wall street journal," and it was own od by charlie munger who had a
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firm out there, munger tolls, and charlie munger's the associate of warren buff now. i had loved covering courts when i was a kid, he kept giving me books about lawyers to read. so i had read all the books, clarence dare row's autobiography, and i remember one of the books i loved the most was louie neiser's "my life in court," and i actually got to interview him when i was in california which was up with of the sort of thrills of my life. and from there after writing a couple of stories about sort of internal law firm problems, the big story was about a crisis they were having, i ended up getting offered a job at american lawyer magazine which
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ultimately led to my writing, covering the demise of -- [inaudible] writing my first book, "shark tank." and it was while i was at legal times that i had an idea for writing a story about one of the lawyers at williams and connolly who i thought had the greatest dream job in the history of law which was running a baseball team. and that was larry lukino who i went over to his office, and he was the president of the baltimore orioles. and larry, i got almost all through the whole story, to the end of the story, and then somebody i was interviewing about larry said, oh, i guess you know about his illness. and i went, oh, yeah, shiewr. right. yeah, the illness, well, it's terrible. so anyway, i began to piece together the story how at the age of 39 years old, larry had been stricken with non-hodgkin's
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lymphoma and was the 36th person in the history of medicine to have of a bone transplant. and while he was in recovery, his miraculous recovery from this illness, he, he had -- he went to the dana farber institute in canada, and they piped in the boston red sox games. when larry got out of his isolation they said what's the one thing you most want to do now that you're getting out of the hospital, and larry said i want to go walk around fenway park. here's fenway park, by the way, an old picture of fenway park. i've always thought it was one of the most dramatic and wonderful stories because larry, of course, 23 years later larry not only survived what, against all the odds, but managed an even greater, beat the odds in
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even a greater way by being the leader of the red sox when they won the world series, a feat that nobody thought was possible. it was shortly after meeting larry and be telling his story in this legal times that i signed on to cover the iran-contra hearings, and that was when i first encountered brendan sullivan sitting a few seats behind him in the press row in the senate while he was representing ollie no. and when brendan sullivan came in to represent you, the room would crackle. it still crackles. when i walked into the ted stevens trial this year, you know, there's an electricity in the room that you're present with some of the great lawyers. as a reporter i've been pretty lucky to be able to be in trials with people like melvin belli and be william kunsler, and i
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was going to mention jim coleman who used to be at wellman cutler when he represented ted bundy in the, some of his death penalty appeals. when you're in the presence of these great lawyers, it's really a spectacular feeling. you know, some of you may have heard, i don't know if some of you are watching boardwalk empire, anybody see the last episode where the arnold rothstein, the guy who fix bed the 1919 world series is preparing his legal defense, and one of the characters in the program says, arnold, you should be a lawyer. and he replies without sort of missing a beat, he says, no, i'd rather continue to make my living honestly. [laughter] so, you know, there's a lot of, there's a lot of lawyers in this
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country that sort of don't necessarily all shower praise on the legal profession. but fortunately, i've been able to be around some of the best and the greatest e, and when i used to do my 50 best lawyers story if for the washingtonian each year, usually i would sort of limit it to three. and brendan would be on there and david kendall who's right over here would be on there and sometimes i would rotate the third spot, richard cooper, i think, was on there one year, and bob barnett was on there one year. and i was thinking, boy, i could put, like, ten. williams and connolly has about -- there's at least ten, and brendan and david would probably say all 50. but, you know -- [laughter] so i'd always thought that the story of williams and connolly would make a great book, and a few years ago at washingtonian i did a piece called the firm that runs the world in which i talked about a lot of the sort of
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concentric circles and some might say conflicts that sort of envelope p this legendary firm. for example, they represented the tobacco industry in the supreme court cases involving whether or not tobacco should be treated as a drug by the food and drug administration, but they also represent the vince lombardi cancer institute. and one of my, one of my favorite ones involved bob barnett who he, when this week with david brinkley used to be on every sunday morning -- and can it struck me that williams and connolly represented the network that broadcast the show, abc -- they represented all of the talent that was on the show; george will, brinkley, cokie roberts, sam donaldson. most of the time they would also represent the talent that was on the show, james carville and mary madeleine, for example.
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and then to sort of cap it all off, they were at the attorneys for arkansas cher daniels midland for many be years. finish for many years. and part of which is retold in the movie, "the informant," with matt damon, aubrey daniels' role. anyway, as i looked at brendan sullivan's career over the entirety of his 35 years, i used to always say in my articles about him and when i was talking to people, i would say brendan sullivan has gone 35 years and has never had one client serve any time in jail which was pretty remarkable because by the time people got to him, they were usually pretty far up the creek. it wasn't like he was defending, you know, too many roman catholic nuns or that sort of thing. and after a while i began to wonder if it was really true. was i just saying this? had i just repeated this story so many times that i believe t it or not? and so one of the things that i
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tried to do in this book was to go back and talk a little bit about why brendan sullivan has this passion that he has and what the pattern is from when he first came to williams and connolly after being, defending prisoners at the presidio stockade in san francisco and then on to his first case when prosecutors sort of routinely -- he discovered that prosecutors didn't always behave in the most correct manner possible. and i sort of came to realize, and i think i explain in the book why he is in the book, why his cases turn out the way they do. and one of the best examples was the case of a tax fraud case that he had handled where he was going through the documents that the government had given him in
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this very high profile case, and one of them didn't look right to him. it was sort of the others were yellowed, and this one looked okay. and so he held it up, he held the paper up to the light and had his investigators check out the water mark. and they were able to prove that the paper wasn't manufactured until after the document was with supposedly had been typed. and the prosecutor hadn't been able to find, hadn't been able to find the original document, so she had just had it retyped. and can that was sort of classic brendan sullivan which we saw a lot in the ted stevens case when he was able to prove that, once again, prosecutors had failed to provide all the exculpatory evidence that they're usually required to do. and in the broad come case which just concluded, again, sort of the same result. so i always do find it kind of interesting to me that a lot of
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conservative politicians who rail against the awesome power of the federal government especially in the last couple of months, brendan sullivan's been a foot soldier in the fight against the misuse of power in the federal government for 35 to 40 years, and a lot of these other people are perfectly willing to give, to create new laws, make federal crimes out of everything that they can and give more power to prosecutors and don't see any inconsistency in their two positions. i mean, i don't mind which one they take, but it just seems a little bit inconsistent. so i had taken all this, and i was able to convince st. martin's press to let me write a book about the world of big time washington law and particularly -- and looking at it through the lens of williams and connolly which, which is what i try to do and tell the,
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tell how five in the basic thread of the book is to take the five main characters in my book which are brendan, david kendall, gregory craig, bob barnett and larry and talk about how both in the law firm and the people who have left the law firm to pursue careers as larry did in baseball or jeff did with the ceo of pfizer or nicole sell bigman at the -- corporation or other people at tex terror or marriott, how the direct line from the sayings and maxims of edward bennett williams and what he taught these disciples has meant in terms of american business and law and really made this a tremendously unique firm in a lot of other ways that i point out unlike firms that they don't take lateral partners, for example, they don't engage in
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self-promotion, they don't have offices outside of other places. so that's sort of what the book is about, and it's kind of like sort of unlike the, what you might get from the comment from arnold rothstein in empire boardwalk. i think that my characters are all, exemplify the best in american law profession which is sometimes difficult to say because when you go from writing for a trade publication as i did at legal times and american lawyer -- although american lawyer was sort of an anti-trade publication -- to writing for a general interest magazine like washingtonian, you're sort of expected to hammer lawyers all the time and really not give them much of a break. but there are some great people in the profession. jake stein's standing over here, one of the great lawyers in the america. thank you for coming as well. >> thank you!
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>> if anybody has any questions, shoot 'em out here, and i'll see if i can make some sense. [inaudible conversations] >> sarah palin and geraldine ferraro have been -- [inaudible] was there any -- [inaudible] >> well, you know, robert barnett has built this incredible practice, and one of the things that enabled me to call this world's most powerful firm is the fact that bob barnett's practice, he represented, he represents three presidents, all the vice presidents, all the cabinet secretaries, all the major media figures in the country, the anchors on both the network and broadcast. placing all the powerful people in washington around like pieces on a chess board. and he started it all with
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geraldine ferraro. and i was interviewing, when i called geraldine ferraro to talk to her about her relationship with barnett and how that led to this incredible, remarkable practice that he has, it was just about the time that sarah palin had been named to be the vice presidential nominee by john john mccain who is not a williams and connolly client, by the way. so i said just sort of at the end of my questioning of ferraro about her relationship with williams and connolly, i said, has, have you talked to sarah palin? you now share this distinction as being the only two women in american history to be nominated for vice president. has she called you to talk to you, ask you what it's like or what it might be like or anything like that? and she said, well, she said, no, but then she said, well, actually senator mccain had
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called me, and can i called him back. he had called me to tell me what he had done, and can i had called him back. and he said -- and i said, wish her luck, and he said, well, she's right here, i'll put her on the phone. and so he put sarah palin on the line, and she basically had no clue who geraldine ferraro was. the conversation was very short. and so when sarah palin's book "going rogue" came out, there's a whole page in there about how sarah palin had done, was going around, had been going around the country talking about how great geraldine ferraro was, and geraldine ferraro had called her up to thank her for all these shoutouts on the campaign be trail. so anyway, so i called geraldine ferraro back and said, well, you know, her account's a little different than yours, so she
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repeated the story to me as she had the first time, so i was satisfied to put it in the book be. but sarah palin, very attractive person, has a lot of energy, you know, i don't see how anyone can't like her. i watched her show the other night. i saw her stand up to the grizzly bear. but she can tell some whoppers, that's all i can say. the woman does know some whoppers. [laughter] anybody have any other questions they'd like to ask? okay. well, i hope you enjoyed the evening, and i'll go over there and sign some books. [applause] thank everybody for coming. >> kim eisler is the national editor for the washingtonian magazine. he's the author of several books including "shark tank: greed, politics and the collapse of finley couple bl, one of america's largest law firms."
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to find out more visit >> here are the best selling hard cover nonfiction books for this week according to
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>> mark three seven, author of courting disaster. your subtitle's pretty strong, how the cia kept america safe and how barack obama is inviting the next attack. >> that's absolutely true. the president, when he took into office one of his first acts as president was to eliminate the most important tool we had in protecting the country which was the cia interrogation program. this book is an inside story of that program. it is the first book where anyone has ever spoken to the actual interrogators who waterboarded khalid sheikh mohammed and used techniques on some of the senior al-qaeda leaders and got them to give us information that stopped a series of terrorist plots that were planned as a second wave of attacks. and today we don't have that capability anymore, so we're in grave danger of another attack. >> how did you get that accessesome. >> well, i was president bush's
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chief speech writer, and i was called in and sad by the president to write a speech acknowledging the existence of this program which even its existence had been classified. and is in order to write that speech, i was given access to all the intelligence that this program provided, all the secrets behind what was really the most covert and important intelligence program in the war on terror. and when president obama came in, i start out the book by saying, the first sentence of the book is you should not be reading this book, and i should not have been able to write it because all of that information should remain classified. but president obama released all of these classified documents in an effort to say that we committed torture and that we violated american values. that did great harm to our national security because it gave our enemies a playbook for how to resist interrogation and withhold information about their plans. but it also freed people like me who had met the interrogators, who knee how the program worked to write a book and speak about what this program did to keep
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the country safe. >> did it have to be cleared by national security officials? >> absolutely. it went through the cia review process. it took about two months where they read every word and every comma, and they gave it a few ed fits -- edits, not too many. i was actually amazed at how much they let me say. there were things i thought they would take out that they didn't, so t really a real behind the scenes look at this program that no one's ever had before. >> as president bush's former chief speech writer, did you read "decision points" before it came out many. >> not before it came out, but i got an early copy, and he's very vigorous in defending this program. he said when they asked him did you order the waterboarding of khalid sheikh mohammed, he said, damn right. i've actually got a chapter on that in my book on how he's been behind this program. so he's unabashed in his support for what these men and women did. and, you know, they've had terrible things said about them.
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for years the left in this country has been able to say anything they wanted about this program. it spread all sorts of lies. i mean, i would say to your viewers almost everything you've heard about this program is untrue. because there is these journalists who have written exposes and books attacking it. all of of us who knew the truth and could rebut the charges had our hands tied because the answers to their charges were classified. so in a way barack obama did us a favor by untying our hands and allowing us to fight back. so this is the first be book that takes on all of these people who have been spreading lies about the cia and tells truth about how these people literally were responsible for stopping the next terrorist attack on america. >> mark three seven, former chief speech writer of george w. bush and author of "courting disaster: how the cia kept america safe and how barack obama is inviting the next attack. ". >> visit to watch any of the programs you see here
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online. type the author or book title in the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can also share anything you see on easily by clicking share on the upper left side of the page and selecting the format. booktv streams live online for 48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. >> you've been watching booktv, 48 hours of book programming beginning saturday morning at 8 eastern through monday morning at 8 eastern. nonfiction books all weekend, every weekend right here on c-span2. of. >> you're watching public affairs programming on c-span2, a service of your local cable company. here's what's ahead:


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